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Do young anarchists have potential?

+3 votes
Although I am not new to the general idea of anarchism, I am new to adopting anarchist ideas of my own. I am 16, going on 17 soon. A few months ago I started getting more intensively into politics and world history. I don't have any anarchist influences in my life besides one person I talk to sometimes online. I suppose I am wondering if I am too young to be seeking out comrades. I am still in high school and most of the people around me are opposed to anarchy and see it as a joke and like we are trying to be "edgy." Is it common for people my age to be anarchists? Is this website a good place to stay updated on current events? And lastly, are there any specific texts I should read in order to be properly informed/educated on anarchy?
asked May 8 by 1312
hello 1312.
welcome to the site.
this is not a topical site, so it's not a good place to come for updates or current events. i think it's pretty common for people your age to be anarchists, although it might depend on location.

as you might have noticed if you searched for "books" on this site, or just checked the most recent active thread, folks here tend to like to recommend books, and every anarchist (and every anarchist tendency) will have their own favorites and/or standards.

here are some other threads that might be interesting to you
http://anarchy101.org/14883/good-books-for-anarchists?show=14883#q14883
http://anarchy101.org/18179/who-do-you-consider-to-be-subversive-novelists?show=18251#c18251

a more topical site is anarchistnews.org (the only general anarchist site that allows comments, afaik, which i like, but can be an acquired taste). that site collects anarchist stories from around the web. so it's handy.
dear 1312,

i think this site is a great place to engage with anarchist thoughts, and try your luck answering and asking questions to slowly develop a deeper understanding of what anarchy means to you.  also, as dot says, there are many great book recommendations, although i will admit i barely read anarchist literature, preferring sci-fi mostly.  i dont look at anarchynews much, but it is certainly an interesting site, and worth checking out.

2 Answers

+2 votes

One problem i have with the word "potential" is that it's a word that means someone or something could be better in the future, and especially in the case of adults and younger people, adults will use it to say that younger people aren't good enough at the moment, and the kids need to work harder at becoming the ideals that adults set out for them.

But the age related baggage set aside: yes, of course! I see anarchy as having a much greater potential than the state in making people more able to live in the present moment, to leave aside ideas such as "potential", and learning themselves in the moment without so much consideration for "careers" and jobs.

Historically, it's impossible to know what direction things are going in, a lot of things have gotten worse. As humans we have destroyed large amounts of the natural world, and the humans who have done this don't even properly comprehend the amount of damage this does to them personally.

People have dealt with their lives anarchistically in the past and continue to do so in the present. I think the most important thing anarchists can do is to use anarchist ideas to improve their own lives without getting so hung up on morality and what other people think of them. If you don't think someone else tells something that is true (including me), then just observe how what they say makes you feel, and don't compromise so easily with opinions and social pressures.

answered May 9 by Nihilist (-850 points)
+2 votes
I discovered anarchism around the same age, and also found my way to this site. This is a great spot to bounce questions and learn a wide variety of takes on different anarchy-related stuff, as well as reading suggestions for theory and praxis.
You are never too young to seek out comrades (though not all comrades are necessarily anarchist, or at least the same anarchist as you). However, from my pessimistic experience, I'd say it's not very common for people your age to be receptive to outwardly anarchist theory (though that may depend on location, as dot mentioned). That doesn't mean you can't find ideas and actions that are anarchistic that others will agree with and possibly help with.
Better sources for current events that are anarchist-leaning are anarchistnews, it's going down, agency, enough is enough. If you have social media, revolution news spams anti-capitalist/state/cop/etc content, though it's good to be wary of accuracy and hype. Otherwise I encourage using any other news sources with a healthy dose of skepticism and questioning to come to your own opinions on the world's happenings.
As for as books, I'm sure you'll find a plethora of suggestions as you browse this site, but The Dispossessed by LeGuin is often a favorite if you're into sci-fi.
answered May 12 by Vindico Vaco (1,280 points)
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